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Displaying items by tag: DoverCalais

Irish Ferries has announced the addition of a third ro-ro ferry to its Dover to Calais route as Afloat reported last week. 

The ship is expected to enter service in the first quarter of 2022, joining the Isle of Inishmore and the recently announced Isle of Innisfree.

The secondhand tonnage, Ciudad de Mahon, to be renamed in the coming weeks, was built in 2000 by the by Astilleros Espanoles S.A. (AESA) shipyard in Spain and originally delivered as Northern Merchant. As Afloat also previously alluded, the ropax is no stranger to the short straits, having originally operated on the Dover - Dunkirk route following delivery.

The ferry has the capacity to carry up to 589 passengers and over 90 freight vehicles. Facilities for freight drivers/passengers involve a self-service restaurant, café/bar, onboard duty-free shop and spacious outdoor decks.

Andrew Sheen, Irish Ferries Managing Director, said: “The addition of a third vessel on our Dover / Calais route will allow us to offer a departure from either Dover or Calais every 90 minutes. This is a further sign of our commitment to this route and will offer customers even greater choice along with the capacity, frequency and reliability that is required to service this important route between GB and France”.

Perhaps, Afloat adds that this third ferry to the UK-France route will be renamed Isle of Inishturk? (originally B+I Line's Leinster) which served briefly under this name when operating Rosslare-Pembroke. 

Published in Irish Ferries

The Irish Continental Group (ICG) which owns Irish Ferries, has announced yet another recent acquisition, this time a Spanish-Balearic Islands passenger ro-ro ferry which will be their third ship to enter service on the Dover-Calais route, writes Jehan Ashmore

ICG entered into the agreement with Trasmed GLE for the purchase of the ropax ferry Ciudad de Mahón. Afloat tracked this morning the ferry at Palma de Mallorca, the port on the largest of the Balearics, Majorca from where the ropax serves the Spanish mainland port of Valencia.

Title to the 22,152 tonne Ciudad de Mahón will transfer to ICG on delivery which is expected to be implemented by late January 2022 and with the ro-pax ferry scheduled to commence services on the UK-mainland Europe route in the first quarter of next year.

The yet to be announced renamed vessel will serve the UK-France route after dry docking and rebranding changes. As Afloat previously reported, similar work is currently taking place with the former DFDS Calais Seaways (since renamed Isle of Innisfree), following ICG's purchase and delivery earlier this month, though is due in early December to join Isle of Innishmore which launched Irish Ferries debut on the route during the summer.

The newly acquired vessel was built in 2000 as Northern Merchant (Afloat adds for UK concern, Cenargo Group) by Astilleros Espanoles S.A. (AESA), Spain, to serve coincidentally out of Dover but running to Dunkerque with a charter to NorfolkLine. The ferry was one of a quartet of 'Race Horse' series built in Seville, with Midnight Merchant also on the Strait of Dover run, whereas the remaining pair served a Dublin-Liverpool service.

Passenger capacity is for 589 while freight is for 91 units of the ferry also previously named as Zurbarán. This will further boost freight capacity on the tightly competitive short-sea UK-mainland Europe link. The route also forms Irish Ferries 'landbridge' UK services, by connecting Ireland and the EU via ports in Wales.

Introduction of these two ferries by ICG, represents a total investment of €35.5m, alongside the Isle of Inishmore which completes previously announced plan by the Dublin based company to introduce three vessels on the premier Dover - Calais route.

With the third ferry in service, this will allow Irish Ferries to offer up to 30 sailings daily on the route with sailings in each direction approximately every 90 minutes.

Published in Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries has been awarded the title of ‘Best Ferry or Fixed Linked Operator’  for the third consecutive year at the UK Group Leisure and Travel Awards 2021 – a momentous achievement following a challenging year for global travel.

The annual awards ceremony recognises the very best providers, attractions and destinations for groups, as voted for by readers of Group Leisure & Travel. This year’s event took place virtually, and was hosted by British presenter and actress, Julie Peasgood.

Whilst traditionally known for its Irish Sea routes between Holyhead – Dublin Port and Pembroke – Rosslare Europort, Irish Ferries recently extended their network to include Dover – Calais.

In June, Irish Ferries launched their Dover – Calais route, serviced by the trusted ‘Isle of Inishmore’, brings even more choice for customers travelling across the channel. Frequency on this route is soon to be increased with the introduction of a second vessel in the coming months.

Irish Ferries encourages customers and group partners to “Sea Travel Differently” – whether for group tours, business trips, or planning the holiday of a lifetime. The company prides itself on providing high quality hospitality and service, exceptional on-board amenities, first-class facilities for coach drivers, great value sailings, and has a dedicated groups support team and manager to oversee enquiries via email and phone.

Commenting on the award, Marie McCarthy, Passenger Sales Manager UK & Ireland, said “Irish Ferries is proud to have been awarded this title for the third year running, particularly as this succeeds the launch of our new Dover – Calais route, connecting this critical market now to both Europe as well as Ireland.

“Group travel is a very important market for us, for which, over the years, we have built our reputation as a specialist. This award formally recognises our continued efforts to provide our groups customers with a wonderful experience on a first-class fleet, with Irish hospitality at the centre of our offering.

“Group Leisure & Travel has a loyal readership which values the publication’s preferred providers and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure our standard of service remains high. Thank you to all readers who voted for us – we cannot thank you enough!”

Published in Irish Ferries

Dublin based operator, Irish Ferries saw its cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore this morning set sail on an inaugural sailing from the Port of Dover to Calais in direct competition with P&O Ferries and DFDS. 

As Afloat previously reported, tickets went on sale in advance of the new UK-France service, which extends Irish Ferries network of award-winning services. In addition to providing customers with a new operator choice for travelling across the Channel, first announced by ICG in March.

Irish Ferries encourages customers to “sea travel differently” – whether for holidays, business trips, reuniting with loved ones, or planning the road trip of a lifetime. With award-winning hospitality and service, onboard duty-free shopping and extensive amenities to make the journey even more special, the holiday really does begin once passengers’ step onboard.

The Isle of Inishmore has undergone extensive refurbishments for the new service – including an upgraded Club Class Lounge, with spectacular 360-degree sea views, and refreshed, spacious passenger areas. The 90-minute crossing is a breeze, with plenty of amenities onboard. Passengers can avail of free WiFi, re-fuel in Boylan’s Brasserie or Café Lafayette, or let the kids enjoy the soft play area.

With new duty-free allowances post Brexit, it’s the perfect opportunity to stock up in the Duty Free shop, or even plan ahead on purchases, with an innovative, online Click & Collect service. Freight drivers can also enjoy the comfortable facilities including a drivers lounge and dedicated new showers.

Andrew Sheen, Managing Director at Irish Ferries, said: “Our newly-launched route between Dover and Calais brings even more choice for freight customers who can now experience our outstanding service while travelling between the UK and France. We're delighted to bring a little bit of Ireland to this route, and after months of travel limitations, we know that people are very eager to see family and friends, re-ignite business relations, and escape their everyday and take a much-needed holiday. We are in the business of connectivity and want to enable those special memories to be created once travel is permitted again.”

Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover, said: “We offer a very warm welcome to Irish Ferries and are delighted to see their operations commence from the UK’s busiest international ro-ro port. There has been considerable work by Port of Dover and all parties associated with this new service launch to get prepared for this day, and we are pleased to see all of those efforts come to fruition. We wish Irish Ferries every success for their new venture with us”

Ferry travel makes for a more relaxed holiday option, with the freedom to pack the car with unlimited luggage, bring pets along, and travel exactly where you want in the comfort of your own car. The Flexibility Option from Irish Ferries also offers additional peace of mind if customers need to change bookings at the last minute.

With Irish Ferries ‘Travel Safe’ programme, customers can also travel in confidence; checking in from the security of their own car, sailing with plenty of space in communal areas for natural social distancing onboard, and take in the fresh, sea air from outdoor decks.

Fares start from just £69 for a car and up to nine passengers, and ferries will operate with up to 10 daily crossings.

Published in Irish Ferries

UK and French unions claim the firm, Irish Ferries, which already operates Ireland-UK and Ireland-France routes, is aggressively low-cost and will seriously damage existing services and result in a lowering of standards.

Cross-Channel (Strait of Dover) ferry firms are hoping holiday travel will increase after a difficult year – especially if France is listed as ‘green’ in the UK’s traffic light travel scheme this month.

Irish Ferries’ website shows Britain-France options but no dates may yet be booked. It says the service will start in June with the transfer of the Isle of Inishmore. A second ferry is expected late this year and another in 2022.

The firm says it wants to “bring more choice to customers”. Freight lorries will be able to travel from Ireland through Wales and England, then via ferry to the Continent.

It says the level of passenger services will depend on the easing of Covid restrictions.

It is not known if foot passenger bookings will be offered.

Rival (see story) P&O has not yet resumed these and they are not offered by the other Dover-Calais operator, DFDS.

The chairman of Calais port, Jean-Marc Puissesseau, called the launch a “clear sign of confidence” in a year which also sees major infrastructure improvements at Calais.

Further reading, reports The Connexion. 

Published in Irish Ferries

Ferry rivals, DFDS & P&O have today entered into a mutual space charter agreement on the Dover-Calais route to shorten freight customers’ waiting times.

The new agreement according to DFDS on the premier short-sea route will also improve the flow of freight traffic across this vital arterial trade link between the UK and France and the rest of the EU member states. 

Freight drivers will be able to board the next available sailing when they arrive at the Port of Dover or the Port of Calais, regardless of which of the two ferry companies is operating the crossing. This will ensure customers benefit from more flexibility, with a sailing every 36 minutes. It will reduce the amount of waiting time at the port saving our freight customers up to 30 minutes on their overall journey time.

Whilst the agreement means that capacity is shared, all commercial activities remain entirely under the control of each operator. 

The new agreement is for freight vehicles only and does not apply to sailings on the Dover-Dunkirk route, which is solely operated by DFDS and will continue to provide a convenient alternative from Dover, with regular sailings and easy access to the Northern European road network.

Filip Hermann, Vice-President and Head of Channel Routes for DFDS, said: “Our focus is always to improve the ferry offering to freight customers. With this new space charter agreement in Dover-Calais we offer faster crossings and flexibility to relieve congestion and keep trade flowing”.

The two ferry companies carry more than 2.5 million lorries across the English Channel every year, making it the busiest trade route between the UK and Europe, maintaining the flow of essential items including food, medicines and other materials into and out of the UK.

As Afloat previously reported, operator, Irish Ferries next month is to launch a brand new service on Dover-Calais route with the transfer of Isle of Inishmore from Rosslare-Pembroke duties.

Initially, sailings on the UK-France link will be based only for freight customers, providing hauliers with an inclusive UK landbridge post-Brexit connection, as this also includes the operators main Irish Sea route of Dublin-Holyhead.  

Published in Ferry

As Irish Ferries is to become a rival to P&O Ferries on the Dover-Calais market, the ferry firm is set to respond on the UK-France route by deploying a fifth vessel.

The DP World-owned company announced its ro-pax Pride of Burgundy vessel would return to the route in June.

It’s a service the vessel operated for the best part of 26 years before P&O Ferries reduced capacity in response to the pandemic and the cessation of cross-Channel passenger traffic.

More from The Loadstar here.

Published in Ferry

A first for Irish Ferries, as the subsidiary of Irish Continental Group plc (ICG) has announced a new service on the Dover – Calais route.

The service is planned to start in June 2021, with the transfer of Isle of Inishmore (see newer ship for Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route) to the UK-France route. Additional capacity will be added in the coming months.

Irish Ferries is the market leader for freight and passengers between Britain and the Republic of Ireland, a leadership position that has been built on the twin pillars of customer focus and investment in purpose built ships for each route. An Irish Ferries spokesman said:

We are very excited about launching our services on the best short sea ferry market in the world and we believe we can bring more choice for customers in the years ahead.

As part of our commitment to the movement of freight on and off the Island of Ireland to both the UK and Europe, this additional capacity on the Dover – Calais route will significantly strengthen the capacity and reliability of the landbridge for exporters and importers.

Hauliers will now have one operator providing an inclusive service on the Dublin - Holyhead, Rosslare - Pembroke and Dover - Calais routes. This will allow exporters and importers easier, cheaper, and quicker access to our European markets via the Common Transit Convention.

It is intended to offer passenger services on the route. The initial level of passenger services offered will be dependent on the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Doug Bannister, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: “We are delighted to welcome Irish Ferries to Dover. This announcement gives the millions of customers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland who value the intrinsic benefits of the shortest sea crossing to Europe, the prospect of even more choice. We believe the inclusive landbridge product will be popular with Irish exporters and will strengthen the just in time supply chain into the European Union. This is a clear signal of market confidence in the Dover route and will complement the resilient services currently provided. We wish Irish Ferries every success and look forward to having them on the route in the summer and working together as part of the Dover team building the future success of the Short Straits.”

Jean-Marc Puissesseau, Chairman, Port of Calais, said: “the commencement of the service operated by Irish Ferries emphasises the strategic position of the port of Calais in the trade between Ireland, the United Kingdom and the continent. It is a clear sign of confidence just a few weeks before the opening of the new port of Calais

Published in Irish Ferries

Official images have been released of P&O Ferries €260 million new generation of super-ferries which will see the new tonnage transform the experience of travelling between Britain and mainland Europe.

The newbuilds will be the largest ferries ever to sail between Dover and Calais at 230m long and according to Multimodal.org.uk the first is to enter service by 2023.

David Stretch, Managing Director - Short Routes at P&O Ferries, said: “These remarkable images provide a glimpse of the transformation which our customers will experience when they travel between Britain and Europe on the most sustainable, most reliable and most customer friendly ships ever to sail on the route.

“This major investment will be a vital part of Europe’s transport infrastructure into the 2040s and symbolises our commitment to making trade flow for our customers.”
 
Major innovations of the new super-ferries will include: 

  • Cutting fuel use by 40 per cent through a combination of fuel and battery propulsion 
  • The heat recovery system saves fuel which reduces the vessel’s carbon footprint 
  • Future proofing anticipates the ‘zero carbon emissions ship’ 
  • A double-ended design and two bridges on the ship, meaning that there is no need for it to turn around 
  • Outside deck areas to provide viewing platforms of the White Cliffs of Dover 
  • Panoramic sea views for passengers 
  • A power management system to efficiently close down parts of the ship when not in use 
  • A revolutionary new shape of hull for the English Channel and azimuth thrusters which increase manoeuvrability of the ship
Published in Ferry

Danish operator DFDS recently announced another milestone at the Avic Shipyard in Weihai, China, as the keel was officially laid on the new charter vessel, Cote D'Opale, the name which was previously reported on Afloat.ie

Owner of the newbuild Stena-E-Flexer class, Stena RoRo and DFDS will take the ferry on a 10 year bare-boat charter from delivery in China in June 2021.

Cote D'Opale will enter service on the Dover-Calais route, the busiest ferry-route between the UK and mainland Europe.

The new ferry will be the longest ship on the channel with capacity for 1,000 passengers and crew.

DFDS also operates passenger ferry services, Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam and Newhaven to Dieppe (see related story).

In addition to the UK routes, DFDS which is northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, they operate ferry routes in Scandinavia, the Baltic and an extensive freight-ferry network.

Published in Ferry
Page 1 of 2

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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